LONDON – Spring is arriving earlier – maybe not this year for North America, but the trend is clear. This is not welcome news for Arctic creatures or the roe deer of France. And it could be awkward for flower festival organizers as well.
Julienne Stroeve of the United States' National Snow and Ice Data Center and colleagues will report in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that the length of the Arctic melt season is growing by several days each decade. When the melt starts earlier, the Arctic Ocean absorbs more radiation: Enough in some places to melt four feet in thickness from the Arctic ice cap.